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DR 650 vs KLR 650

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I'm deciding on a bike to be used as a commuter. Can I get some info to help me decide whether the DR or the KLR might be better for me? Commute will consist of 20% dirt roads and 80% pavement, speeds up to about 65 MPH for several miles on a state 2-lane hwy, and a half-dozen traffic lights. I'll need to lower either one; my inseam is 30 in.- I don't know how that will affect the bikes, or if it won't matter much.

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My inseam is 30" and I haven't lowered my DR. I thought I would want to, but it only took a few times to figure out mounting and dismounting, and now I like it better. When I am on the bike I can put down both feet easy. I think the DR is the perfect commuter.

Dave

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Same here, 30" inseam. I can almost plant both feet at a stop light. The DR made more sense than the KLR, besides, it looks cool in blue. :thumbsup:

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I just did not like the look of the KLR 650. But the Klr holds my fuel (but check into that) I like the DR better because I own one. Go to the KLR section and ask the same question, and I am sure that you will get a diffrent answer!

Just my thoughts. :thumbsup:

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Wow, for the first time ever....I feel tall! :thumbsup:

My inseam is 32" and my, um formidable girth shall we say, creates enough sag that I can easily put both feet down at lights.

As far as the choice between the two, I'll bet a buck that everyone in the DR forum votes DR and everyone in the KLR forum votes KLR. Just a hunch.

Personally, I shopped like a girl and bought by color. All of my other crap is blue so when I got a whim to buy an enduro...it was a no brainer.

I've only had mine for a week but so far I'm very pleased with the machine. It definitely needs some more HP so a jet kit, pipe and airbox mod aren't too far down the road but the bike handles great and is a blast to ride. I feel like a 12 year old kid again when I throw a leg over her and hit the GO button.

Riding my ZZR is like dating a supermodel where you can get in trouble fast and she needs to be handled with care or she'll sting ya'. This DR is like dating a stripper on Valium, it's all about fun but you aren't going to get anywhere fast.

Joe

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I don't know how you guys can touch the ground with any confidence. I haven't been able to sit on a DR yet, but the KLR is the same height and I can only get the balls of my feet on the ground. Not very confidence-inspiring at a traffic light. My last dual sport was an XT 550 and although it was many years ago, I'm sure it was significantly lower than the DR or the KLR.

What kind of gas mileage are y'all getting? If I don't get at least 50, I'll be disappointed (my car gets 35). As far as power goes, the DR can at least outrun the cars, right?

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You might be happier with the KLR if you do mostly on road riding. It needs less to make it servicable as a commuter. That being said, I like the look of the DR much more. I just had to spend more than the difference between the KLR and DR pricewise to make the DR worthy. If I was doing more dirt than of course the DR wins hands down.

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Not unlike comparing any bike from 1996 to a similar bike from 1987, the DR is just a better motorcycle with just about every component being superior.

So are you saying that the DR was designed in 96 vs. the KLR being designed in 87?

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Yes, the KLR was designed in 1987 and is unchanged since, the DR was designed in 1996 and is unchanged since. It's good for parts availability for a motorcycle to have a long run, but KLR is going on 20 years and it really shows when you look at the brake components, fork tube diamter, etc. Not to mention take a good look at the frame and compare it to the DR's. Also, despite the added complexity of liquid cooling, the KLR's engine actually makes less power than the oil-cooled DR's.

Also, If you're worried about touching, the DR comes with a built in lowering trick that drops it 2 inches, I think.

What the KLR gives you that the DR doesn't, is: windshield, better seat, big gas tank. Most who tour change the seat anyway, and the tank is big but it is steel and fragile and most people add tubular cages that protect the vulnerable radiator and the gas tank. May as well just buy the DR and change the seat and tank--you'll end up with a better seat and a tough plastic tank.

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I stopped by the dealer and he had brought out a DR for me. Despite having the same seat height measurement as the KLR, I could actually get more foot on the ground. I hate the seat, so I'd want to get the Suzuki gel seat, which is supposed to be about 1 1/2 inches shorter than stock. The salesman and the parts guy both thought that would be enough for me. I still wonder if lowering it another inch and a half would help street handling by lowering the cg. The salesman said he'd rather not lose the suspension travel if it were him. Am I right about lowering the center of gravity, and how much difference will that loss of suspension travel actually make?

By the way, I think I like the yellow. It will be more visible to drivers and besides, it is a Suzuki after all.

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Yea,, I too shopped like a girl.....

But I had REAL good luck with Zuk's in the past,and read the DR is like a JEEP on 2 wheels... And not those little pain in the ass design problems.......

I looked at KLR in the shop and thought "What is all this crap hanging off this dirt bike...Ain't that heavy? Won't that cheep plastic break first time it's dropped"(It's a dirt bike,if it never gets dropped,your a wussy)

Honda has a good looking machine,,, but dude it's a HON-Daa!My luck with the Honns and Yamms are they run like a bat out of hell in between working on them.. Maybe that has changed since the 80's.....

The Zuk's looked leaner/cleaner/faster.... If I was going to ride around the world I'd get one on those Beemers with all the heaters,butt message,20 gal tank, like riding a bull-dozer.

Take a look and see.....I'll go DR...I have run mine hard and not one thing has broken. It was still running when it was side over in the mud..It took it like a tuff bike should,just kept runnin' and runnin'.Mud packed in the chain,gas running out of the top of the tank,over rev'ed, overheated and was still ready for more!

1992_800.jpg

Alot of junk hangin' on that KawWee uhh ?

Ahhh,, Honda ?

XR650L.jpg

:thumbsup:

suzuki-dr650-03-bikepics-183730.jpg

Here we go ! :thumbsup:

NV13063_1.jpg

2004_DR650_blue_snett_450.jpg

After the mud battle,,,,See the crap hangin' off the foot peg?That's deep!

92a417c2.jpg

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I have a 32" inseam and weigh in at 155lbs. I think that you will find that the DR is a great every day to work bike. I ride the kind of roads you it sounds like you are going to ride, I do gravel and county highways to work, the DR with the stock tires does just great. My gas mileage on an un-modified DR is 62mpg. I love the bike and it is perfect for me, and the conditions that I ride in. As far as the Gel Seat goes it is not that bad. It does lower the seat about an inch to an inch and a half. The one BAD thing about the Gel seat is that sucker gets HOT in the summer time. When I say HOT I mean HOT. I have to stand up on the foot pegs to keep my butt from burning, my wife looked at my butt and it was burned after one ride and I ride ATGATT. I am thinking about a corbin but do not know what it will do to height and temp.

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I just went through the same process as you are going through right now. Also the aforementioned article gives the DR a "fair" rating and the KLR a "Good" for off road riding. This is exactly the reverse of most peoples experiences. Kinda makes me question the article altogether. But who knows? Typo maybe? More confusion I know. :thumbsup:

They did nail the Honda though.

So three choices:

Honda (great in the dirt not so great on the road)

DR (good in the dirt, good on the road)

KLR (great on the road and without mods not so great in the dirt)

So... I looked at the KLR and DR side by side and this was my impression:

The top heavy, old school forks, micro-front-rotor, 1980ish style of the KLR just didn't look as fun or as capable as the DR. Actually I liked the way the dr400 looked the best but was afraid it wouldn't be up to 70~80mph cruising and like the KLR I was gonna drop it and shatter that fragile looking unprotected radiator.

So the DR650 with a huge windscreen it was.

After commuting with it for about a week now I can say that it is a blast to ride. Both dirt and street although the suspension is a little softer than I expected. I figure if I ever want to super-moto-x this bike I'll need to upgrade. But for an all round commuter dual sport this bike is awesome.

Planned upgrades for me are:

Skid Plate

IMS Tank

A harder ars to handle that stock seat!

Good luck.

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31" inseam and a slightly carved-down seat, and I can almost flatfoot. Pushing it backwards up an incline on gravel is best avoided, but otherwise OK.

Back to the orig question, I went for the simplicity of air cooling, the lack of any significant achilles heels (chain cam tensioner KLR thing), and the option to do a factory-intended lowering job. Haven't done it yet as the seat hieght is manageable and I like the extra 2" of visibility. I recommend yellow for safety, the feeling seems almost unanimously in favor of blue for speed :thumbsup:

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I've owned both: 3 KLR's, and now my first DR.

The KLR is slightly smoother-running, though I had to gear it taller for freeway riding. It also seems to have more touring gear available: bags, highway pegs, panniers, etc.

Everyone talks about shorter gearing for the dirt, but neither bike is a real dirt bike (60-80 lbs too heavy), so that makes no sense to me.

The DR is easier to lower, and you can get a big tank for it. (I just bought an IMS 5.5 gallon tank for $120 incl. shipping). And it has much better brakes!

They will both run on regular gas, if that's important to you.

Right now I'm partial to the DR, but I really liked the KLR too--it was very reliable for me.

These days it seems like you get a bit more DR for your money: they're a little cheaper for the same age and mileage, but then you have to buy a bigger tank for them, so that comes out about even.

Try getting a ride on both bikes. The DR is a little lighter, and being easily lowered, that could be the clincher for you. Good luck!

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I am only 5'4" and have a DR650 (yes I am a girl!) I have the bike lowered down, which can be done easily on a DR but not poss on a KLR with out one of thos Kouba (?sp) linkage kits. I also have a gel seat but although it looks like you will lose some height overall, its not true! I have both seats and cannot honestly tell any difference in height. I am basically tippy toed but then again, I am on most bikes I ride! I have ridden a KLR that was lowered so much even I could flat foot BUT it totally lost all its ground clearance, so something you should probably be aware of. I hope this helps?

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I think everybody has covered about everything but I'll write something anyway. I own a DR650 and often commute on it. My commute has a lot more highway than I'd like, (35 miles), however I'm in the process of making my DR into a street supermoto. In my opinion its the best "comfy motard". A great handling backroad carver that can handle long distance trips as long as you stay away from the 80mph highways I live near.

But I've ridden a KLR and they are great bikes for the huge stock gas tank and better open road comfort. If you just wanted a commuter, the KLR might be a better bike for you.

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